We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
Many of our readers have strong opinions on the topic, so I invite y'all to opine on what I, to whom I refer as a "late middle-aged guy", am doing to maintain fitness and functionality.
For starters, it is still the Maggie's Fitness for Life Program which is a mix of weights, HIIT and endurance "cardio", and a broad category of Calisthenics with includes plyometric stuff and other misc things. I'm fairly sure I have a semi-retired pal who is willing to do the Cali days with me - but he won't do 5 AM.
- "Heavy" weights twice/week, with trainer. My current guy pushes me to my limits, unlike my previous guy who was a slow incrementalist. This guy feels as if I am not getting my money's worth without pushing the limits routinely. It's ok. It's powerlifts and accessory lifts, plus abs, and I can't call it fun. Failure doesn't bother me much.
- "Cardio" days: I use these for endurance and to try to keep my heart in good shape. Might work because I just had my cardiology check-up with all the bells and whistles and it's all good. "No rust in the pipes, or not much, yet," he told me. What I tend to do is a mix of HIIT on the treadmill and the stair machine, 20-30 minutes total. For the rest of the hour I'll do vigorous - no sprints - on elliptical and rower. Great way to begin a day.
- "Calisthenics" days: I use this term as a grab bag of athletic-style exertions which are not all technically calis but which mostly do not include moving any weights much heavier than my own body. I kinda like doing them in rotations of 3. It's more inspiring to do them in a group or with pals. I put samples of these rotations below the fold:
5-minute warm-up: Jumping jacks, toe touches, jump rope, high-knee jogging in place
Then these routines:
Body-weight or hand-weight lunges Planks Pushups
Body-weight squats with or without hand weights or heavy ball Inclined pulls on the TRX ropes The three basic band walks
Box jumps or box step-ups Heavy ball wall throws or floor throws Pull-ups (I need the assist machine to make it worthwhile - can't do 10 regular pullups and never will)
The fact that you're asking indicates that you're questioning something. So, I would ask two questions for you to carefully consider: (1) What are your goals - top three in order of priority, and (2) Are you satisfied with your progress (why or why not)?
NOTE: Several of us have mentioned (repeatedly) that you seem to be doing too much, i.e. your lack of recovery is hurting your progress. IMHO your current weight trainer is FOS if he expects an older guy who is doing the volume you're doing to go balls to the wall during every weight training session.
Describe your HIIT. What you have described in the past has left some of us doubting the intensity part.
RE: your cardiology check up. I'm interested in what tests were performed to determine that your coronary arteries are clear. Did you have a cath? a nuclear medicine stress test or stress echo?
Thumbs up for what Mike said about BD's weight training.
What I find interesting is how much detail BD provides for his calisthenics day compared to how little he provides for the 'heavy weights' day. Calisthenics can be summarized as jumping around the gym performing a random series of arbitrary movements. Who cares what you do exactly?
On the other hand, when it comes to weight training, it's very important what exercises you are doing, what your reps x sets scheme is, how much weight you're lifting and how and when you are increasing that weight.
I hadn't given his calisthenics much thought, but I think we might both agree that IF he is going to include them, (1) his volume should be cut, and (2) he should structure them in a complimentary manner, i.e. he shouldn't be maxing out on bench press on Monday and then doing push ups on Tuesday.
A more sensible approach might be to skip the separate cali day and instead add a couple sets as a finisher at the end of his weight lifting, e.g. on lifting days, do 3 lifts such as cleans, overhead press and squat, and then do a couple of sets of push ups, chins and maybe abs at the end. I would favor something he could do in a concentric only manner, but that's for another day.
Now, some might argue that he should do the cali stuff on a separate day, but I have had better results if I focus on recovery during my off days rather than doing "just a little work" as the little work tends to grow into Bird Dog's current mess.
I think the issue here is that you and I have a different view towards this than BD does. I think BD's goal is to go to the gym as often as possible and build up a sweat, raise his heart rate and 'feel the burn'. He's not really interested in improving his performance. And this is fine, it's great that he's out there staying active and encouraging others to do the same. More power to him. But for him, the goal of exercising is the exercise itself, the feeling he gets from it today, not improvements down the road, as he admits when he says he's doing this to 'maintain fitness', not to 'improve fitness'. So as long as he's happy, it really doesn't matter what he does in the gym.
For me, I plan to enter a lifting meet in a couple of months. Therefore, my workouts are (and have always been) designed for me to improve my performance at that future date. I have a set plan every time I go to the gym and I know exactly what I'm going to be doing for the next several workouts. I'm training. BD is exercising. So asking him to think about volume and recovery and planning his workouts just isn't going to have any effect, because that's just not what he's interested in.